Copyright© 2016 by Jay Cantrell
Romantic Sex Story: Chapter 91 - Travis Blakely had a comfortable existence. He had a decent job and good friends. He was comfortable with what the future held for him. Then he ran into a girl he remembered from high school. His life got a lot more interesting - and infinitely more complicated
The man I’d seen through the window barely let Liz and Ryan clear the doorway before he was inside my room. He wore a nice suit and had a badge hanging out the breast pocket.
Two others, a man and a woman, followed him inside. They were also well dressed (although less expensively than the first guy) but they didn’t see the need to advertise their professions. The female took the seat that Ryan had vacated and the second male stood by her side.
The first man moved to my opposite side. It was he that spoke first.
“We have some questions,” he said in what I was certain was his best “no-nonsense” voice. It came off bombastic.
I took an immediate dislike to him.
“Then you need to move yourself to where I can see you,” I replied. “I’m not going to speak to anybody I can’t see.”
The room was fairly large by hospital standards. But there was a lot of equipment taking up space (not to mention the contraption that held my arm immobile).
The man was frowning again when he moved into my line of sight.
“Farther,” I told him. “I’m not going to strain my neck to answer questions you should already have the answers to.”
I saw the guy’s chest rise slightly as he took a deep breath. He gestured for the woman to arise and she complied. He took her seat and she moved to stand beside the second guy.
“We have some questions,” the man said again.
I nodded and he started to speak again.
“You know who I am,” I interrupted just as the first syllable escaped his lips. “But I have no idea who you are. Perhaps you could follow the rules of polite society for a moment and introduce yourselves.”
I kept my eyes on the two standing and I saw a flicker of a smile cross both of their faces. It was brief but it was there.
“Of course,” the man beside me said after a heavy sigh. “That’s Detective Second Grade John Groden and Detective First Grade Vanessa Appleby. I’m Jeff Crimmens, commander of the Major Case Squad.”
“Bully for you,” I said. I wiped my slimy hand on the sheet and extended it to the pair that was standing. Each moved forward to shake it. I saw the commander shift for his turn but I put my hand back on the bed. “Now, what do you want? I’ve been told you have at least three videos from the scene and the perpetrators are singing like canaries. I’m no detective but I think I could piece shit together from that much information.”
“The problem, Mr. Blakely, is that three of the perpetrators are not singing,” the commander said in a tight voice. “In fact, one of them can’t even make a squeak and the other two have their jaws wired shut.”
“You’re welcome,” I said, turning my eyes to the man again. “You don’t have to listen to bleating or excuses. They only have to nod.”
Detective Appleby bit her lower lip but couldn’t contain the smile that came to her face. She shifted backward so her boss couldn’t see her.
“You are not a licensed and bonded security agent,” the commander said.
“Really?” I asked with feigned incredulity. “I’m not? Well, shit. I was sure that came along with the job of spokesman. Who would have thought?”
“Mr. Blakely, this is serious!” the commander said.
“For you,” I said, shrugging the only arm I could. “For me? Not so much. Look, you have the videos, the confessions and the statements from everybody else. It’s not up to me to cover your ass for you, commander. So don’t expect me to give it much effort.”
“That is not why we’re here,” the commander stated.
“Sure it is,” I said. “Once Detective Trowbridge put all the facts together, your group probably swooped in and stole the case. The only problem was that you couldn’t find McHenry anywhere. While you were spinning your wheels, the man put together a plot to kidnap ... and probably rape and murder ... the most famous person in the city. If you had left Robin Trowbridge on the case, McHenry probably would have been in custody in an hour or two. Instead ... you big-footed her and you wound up with the pooch stuck on your dick.”
I caught a slight nod from Detective Appleby and I turned my gaze to the commander. He was glaring at me but I refused to blink.
“I’m through with you,” I said. “If you want answers from me, I prefer to deal with the people that do the job. I’m willing to answer questions from your two detectives but ... you get on my nerves.”
“Mr. Blakely,” the man began. I cut him off.
“You heard the rules,” I said. “If you want to speak again, I’ll contact the nurse and she can show you the door. She’s already pissed off that somebody circumvented HIPPA laws to reveal my condition. Talk about an easy crime to solve! You already know the criminal because you talked to him or her.”
I didn’t know if a detective first grade was higher than a detective second grade. The police ranking system was never something I had contemplated. But it was the woman that stepped forward.
“Mr. Blakely,” she said in a gentle voice, “there are some questions we need to ask ... if for no other reason than to get your answers on record before any potential civil suit is filed against you. I think we both know it’s going to happen sooner or later. Your profile is too high to avoid it. If you think for a moment, you’ll know I’m right.”
“I don’t need to think,” I said. “I’m sure you’re right. And if this guy would have led with that, we’d be halfway through. After all, self-interest is a great motivator.”
Detective Appleby graced me with a smile.
“Can we get some background?” she asked.
“About?” I wondered.
“Pretty much everything,” she said. “We have information supplied by the media but it’s a bit contradictory in places. We know you lived in San Diego and you once played minor league baseball. But much of your history is unknown.”
“Is that relevant?” I wondered.
“Possibly,” the detective said. “For instance, if you were in the military or you have had martial arts training, it could put you into a delicate situation liability-wise. Do you follow?”
I frowned but nodded.
“I haven’t had either,” I replied.
“Good, good,” the detective said. “Now, it’s pretty well known that you handle public relations for Miss Larimer. Is that correct?”
“Yes,” I said.
“And you were on the plaza that day as part of your official duties?” she asked.
“Partially,” I said.
That caught her off-guard.
“Partially?” she parroted.
“Partially,” I repeated.
“Why were you there?” she asked.
“I am also Miss Larimer’s boyfriend ... significant other ... however you want to term it,” I said. “She asked me to accompany her to the meeting to handle any media relations that might be necessary either on the way or after the meeting with her label. My service in that capacity wasn’t needed. It seems only Mr. McHenry and his associates knew of the meeting. My actions on the plaza were solely the response of any person that saw his friends and loved ones in danger. I was not acting as anything more than Liz’s boyfriend ... and a friend to the three men that were injured protecting Liz.”
I saw another small smile flicker briefly on her features.
“Very well,” she said. “You are a resident of California. Is that correct?”
“It is,” I said. I listed my address for her partner, who was recording everything and taking notes on a tablet.
“How long have you worked for Miss Larimer?” Detective Appleby asked.
“A few weeks,” I answered.
“You have been pictured with her for the past couple of months,” she pointed out.
“That was as her boyfriend,” I replied. “At some point my professional services became useful so she asked me to assume some of her public relations duties. I think my official employment began about 30 days ago. I know that it was less than that when the crime occurred. My insurance coverage had lapsed from my former employer and had not yet begun with LLE.”
The detective nodded.
“There is some discrepancy about your departure from St. Joseph’s Hospital,” she said. “The hospital has described the parting as mutual. Other people have said you quit. Which is accurate?”
“I tendered my resignation,” I said.
“May I ask why?” the woman wondered.
I gave a pointed glance to the commander, who was seated at my side and still steaming.
“I got tired of bureaucrats who’ve managed to kiss the right asses to get to the top without ever actually learning how to do the job,” I said. The man’s face reddened. “I got tired of having people that sit in cushy offices second-guessing every decision and sticking their fingers into every success. I’m sure you understand.”
My conversation with the police didn’t last very long after we got down to the nitty-gritty. The detectives took over the questioning and I recounted not only my background but also the events as I recalled them.
Despite my declarations, the commander was certain I had seen the video. I think the actual detectives believed me, though. The description of the smells and the sounds had them both nodding and jotting notes. Or, perhaps they were filling out their grocery lists.
I relaxed slightly after they had left. I had my statement on the record. I couldn’t imagine anyone actually winning a lawsuit against me – particularly not in Nashville. Of course that didn’t mean I wouldn’t have to spend thousands of dollars defending myself from a frivolous suit.
I was contemplating the likelihood of retaining an attorney when my door opened again. I had expected Liz but it wasn’t her.
If seeing my mother when I’d first awakened had given me a fright, the new face in the doorway left me even more confused.
“What the hell?” I asked.
“Somebody had to come and talk to the media,” Rick said with a broad grin as he stepped into the room. He came to my bedside and put a hand on my shoulder. “You scared the hell out of us. We caught it on a web feed before Liz could even call us. It was easiest for me to get away so I flew across.”
“Damn,” I muttered. “I’m sorry for putting you into the fire like that.”
Rick very rarely was the “face” of anything. He preferred to work behind the scenes and do the grunt work.
“It wasn’t so bad,” Rick said as he took the seat recently vacated by the commander of the Major Case Squad.
I suspected he was lying his ass off. The newsies would be like jackals on a story that involved Liz and a potential kidnapping. Her fans would be even worse.
“Any trouble getting Liz to listen to you?” I wondered.
“I haven’t had to do much at all for Liz,” he said. “We issued a statement asking for privacy and, shock of shocks, people actually listened. They still are camped outside the hospital, of course. We thought about sending up white smoke when you woke up like they do when they elect a pope but it really wasn’t necessary. I’ve been handling media relations for you!”
“Me?” I asked incredulously. Rick looked at me as though I were an idiot. I soon understood why.
“Travis, anybody that did what you did ... man, woman or gorilla ... and had it captured in living color would get his 15 minutes,” Rick told me – although it should have been evident to me. “The fact that you are who you are ... and Liz is who she is ... means you are a huge story to damn near everybody. I’ve had calls from every news and entertainment program on every network you can think of. I’ve had calls from newspapers in every city Liz where has ever performed or you have ever visited. The newspaper in Sandusky, Ohio, has a link to every picture of you they had in their archives. For Christ’s sake, the fact that you’re awake and alert was a crawl across CNN. Two Nashville TV stations interrupted their afternoon programs for a live report letting their viewers know you’re going to be OK.”
I rolled my eyes.
“I am not joking,” he told me. “Everybody from Thailand to England and Iceland to New Zealand wants a comment or to do a story or to get your picture. I got here about seven hours after everything went down and the lobby was filled with flowers from all over the world. My first duty was to ask Liz’s fans – your fans – to make a donation to their local food bank or homeless shelter instead of sending shit to the hospital. That took off like a wildfire. The Padres gave fans $10 off a ticket if they would bring $5 worth of non-perishable food items to the stadium. Hell, the team you played for in Arkansas gave free admission to anybody that showed up with a can of fucking pears or something. The Angels and Dodgers played their Freeway Series last weekend and they donated $100,000 each to help out soup kitchens and homeless shelters out there.”
I sighed and shook my head.
“Then Liz’s friends got involved,” Rick continued. “Ben, Lucas, Conny and Melissa challenged every athlete or entertainer to donate $25,000 to their hometown food pantries. The last I heard, about $10 million had been raised in a little over seven days.”
“Holy fuck,” I mumbled.
“At least something good came out of it,” Rick said. “I mean, besides that asshole offing himself. Pity he didn’t take that route before he put this shit into motion.”
“True,” I said. “Thanks for coming across to help.”
“Hey, we’ve been friends since about the second or third day we knew each other,” Rick said, his normally flippant tone gone. “We all wanted to come over. But the boys were still in school and Amber is still getting settled. So I dropped what I was doing and I was on the first flight over. Eric came in later that evening to check on you and to bring me some clothes and stuff. He stayed a week but he finally went home a couple of days ago.”
“Damn,” I mumbled again. The door opened again and Liz came in. She saw Rick and stopped.
“I just called you,” she said.
“Did you need something?” he asked.
“I wanted to let you know about Travis,” she said.
“The AP sent a news alert,” he said. “I might have known before you did.”
Liz rolled her eyes.